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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1854, by
H. W. DERBY & Co., In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for the District
The History of that region of North America, which constitutes the State of Ohio, may properly be divided into four epochs.
The First Period, or the ante-territorial epoch, engrosses the present volume. Commencing with the obscure memorials and traditions of the early Indian tribes, which are preserved in the faithful relations of Jesuit adventure upon the inland lakes and rivers of the continent— tracing the rise and progress of the fearful struggle for the Ohio and St. Lawrence valleys, between those European powers, that the lapse of a century finds in zealous alliance and with apprehensive gaze turned in an opposite direction — dwelling, once more, upon fragmentary relics of that Indian occupation in Ohio, which the first European settlers found in the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa and Shawanese successors of the almost mythical Eries of the seventeenth centuryrepeating the simple chronicles of Moravian zeal and courage, which, not unfruitful of beneficent influence upon the children of the forest, are also recognized by an intelligent reader to have been an agency extremely salutary and effective, in the protection of an exposed frontier during the disastrous hours of the American Revolution — narrating the incidental effect of that great struggle upon the rude communities of savage life, which, at remote intervals, were familiar to the trader and missionary between Lake Erie and the Ohio; and, finally, preserving, with the fullness of detail which authenticity demands, those early monuments of continental legislation, that have proved, in their fuller development, the deep and broad foundations of the Commonwealth of Ohio, the following pages, as the author needs not be reminded by others, hardly emerge from those mists of time, which distinguish an antiquarian era from the more sharply defined annals of our subsequent history. The dates of the title-page-1650–1787– are made conspicuous, as an epitome of the author's design, which perhaps may be deemed more curious than useful. Its execution was certainly undertaken -at first without any view of permanent publication—mainly upon that sort of impulse, so admirably illustrated by Walter Scott, in his delineation of the Antiquary. The subsequent periods of Ohio history, according to the classification above referred to, are as follows: The Second Period, 1787–1802, may be denominated the Territorial; the Third, 1802 -1815, that of State Organization; and the Fourth, 1815–1851, that of State Development, until, with
the adoption of the Constitution of the latter year, our Ohio has reached a career of Progress—a period when the heterogeneous elements of her population may be expected to mature into a type of character, and the refinements of society and culture will become prevalent.
The first is unlike the subsequent periods in seyeral particulars, that have not been without their influence upon the style and arrangement of the present volume. Of course, prior to 1787, the materials existed only in libraries—in books or manuscripts — while, since that date, much which would arrest the attention and investigation of a historical student, rests in the memory of the living. Besides, the authorities for whatever relates to Ohio from 1650 to 1787, are not numerous, and consist of rare volumes long since out of print. The details contained in this work, have been wrested, therefore, from the dead hand-mort gage—of old books, and because these were inaccessible to most readers, and unlikely to transpire in new editions, I have not restrained myself from ample quotations. In doing so, it has been an unavoidable result, that every variety of style breaks the currents of the following chapters; but I have resisted the disposition to paraphrase, whenever it seemed that the language of the witness was in any respect desirable, either for the statement or elucidation of a doubt, or as an